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With the recent surge in popularity of LED lighting, there are many conversations surrounding it. With these conversations come a lot of questions and even misinformation, as some myths about the lights are given out as facts. Below, we will sort through what is true and what is false about LED lights.
LED Lights Are More Expensive to Buy Than Halogen Lights – True
While it is true that LED lights cost more up front to buy, they will actually save you plenty of money in the long run. LED bulbs have become more affordable over the years, but they still cost a little more than halogen bulbs–as much as 14 times as much as an incandescent bulb, and four times as much as a traditional CFL light. This is true for everything from LED wall lights to LED downlights and beyond.
However, two things are not taken into account here when discussing the price: the cost per replacement and the cost of electricity consumed. LED lights are energy efficient and consume far less electricity than standard bulbs to operate. This starts shaving down the costs of your electricity bills right away. Because they produce more light than they do heat, these power-saving light bulb types can also save you money by not needing to run the air conditioning as often. This also makes them a great choice for those looking to lessen their carbon footprint.
Over time, you will not need to replace the bulbs as often. LED bulbs tend to have a minimum life of 20,000 hours. Compare that to the average 1,000-hour life span of a traditional halogen bulb, and it becomes clear how much you can save purchasing new bulbs once every decade instead of every year or two. This is especially beneficial for hotel lighting.
LED Lights Last Forever – Myth
As mentioned, LED lights are long lasting with an average minimum of 20,000 hours of life. That said, they are not eternal. Like any other kind of bulb, they will eventually burn out and stop working. Even so, that is likely decades from now. For the average home, LED lights are only turned on during the nighttime for a few hours.
LED Lights Are Better For The Environment – True
As mentioned, LED bulbs are an energy-efficient, eco-friendly way to minimize your carbon footprint. These power-saving bulbs help the environment in other ways, including:
- Lower amounts of greenhouse gases being emitted than typical incandescent bulbs, emitting up to 80 percent less
- Reducing the amount of light pollution
- Being good for plant growth
- Not having harmful chemicals in them such as mercury like many fluorescent lights
- A much longer lifespan means limiting the amount of waste that ends up in landfills
- Recyclable parts that allow you to at least reuse some of the bulbs in a way you cannot with traditional light bulbs
- Fewer bulbs are needed to provide brightness, whereas traditional light bulbs often do not put out enough light and several must be used
LEDs Contain Hazardous Substances – Myth
Even though LED bulbs do not have any mercury, there is a common misconception that they must have something dangerous inside of them. Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, are toxic enough that they cannot be recycled and must be thrown away in special facilities. LED bulbs are safe enough to be tossed out with any other waste there may be. In some cases, they can even be recycled.
LEDs Need Time to Warm up – Myth
Long ago, lights took some time to warm up before they began shining their full level of light. There is a myth that LED bulbs are the same. LEDs are, in fact, capable of producing light instantaneously. They achieve their full brightness potential as soon as they are switched on, with no waiting period in between.
This is because unlike other types of lights, LED bulbs use a semiconductor that has two elements: positively charged holes and negatively charged electrons. As soon as there is electric current, the electrons move over it and merge with the holes to immediately release light in the form of photons. Because there is no heat involved like other light bulbs, there is therefore no need for them to “warm up.”
LEDs Get Very Hot – Myth
LED lights output very little heat, especially when compared to their predecessors. Whereas halogen bulbs can output most of their energy as heat, LED light bulbs use almost all of their energy as light. It is a common misconception that LED bulbs use heat, as mentioned above, when the truth is they rely on semiconductors. This means that while LED bulbs do generate a small amount of heat, they don’t generate enough to become hot to the touch.
In fact, LEDs are the safest light bulbs you can buy in that regard. Whereas traditional bulbs need time to cool down before they can be touched, you can comfortably handle an LED light bulb while it is still on without burning your hands. LEDs also eliminate the risk of being a fire hazard, for this reason, making them a particularly popular choice to light up the world.
LED Lights Are Harmful to The Eyes – Myth
This myth stems from LED lighting colours and the fact that LED lights use blue light. Blue light is the wavelength of light that a person’s eyes react to during the daytime. It is what lets one’s circadian rhythms know that it is time to be awake. While being exposed to a large amount of this light can be damaging, LED lights aren’t a concern. The amount of blue light in an LED light bulb is the same amount that a computer or phone screen emits, meaning you are already likely seeing that same amount of blue light every day even without LED home lighting.
LED Lights Are Resistant to Vibration – True
LED lights are indeed somewhat resistant to vibration. Where conventional light bulbs have fragile filaments responsible for illumination that can easily be damaged, LED lights generate illumination using a sturdy semiconductor. This means that vibration is not likely to cause LED bulbs to blow out. That said, vibration could cause increased degradation rates of the lumens. There is also a limit that LED lights can take in terms of vibration, such as when mounted on railways and road sides. Using general LED outdoor lighting or interior lighting won’t pose the same risk.
LEDs Do Not Last as Long in Cold Temperatures – Myth
Another misconception is that LED bulbs do not last long in cold temperatures, but this is not true. In fact, the cooler a location, the more light an LED bulb is likely to output. This means that LEDs are actually believed to work better in a cold climate than in a hot climate. In hot locations, the output of LEDs might be significantly lower. In theory, the winter months could actually be extending your light’s lifespan instead of the other way around.
LED Lights Cannot be Dimmed – Myth
LEDs can be dimmed so long as the bulbs are dimmable. Not all LED bulbs are, so it is important that you look for ones that specifically say that they are if you want to dim your lights. It is important that you also connect them to a dimmer switch to ensure they work as desired. Often, you will also need a transformer for the light. This transformer will adjust the voltage that is running to the light, so you can achieve brighter or dimmer results without short circuiting anything.
LED Lights Cannot be Recycled – Myth
LED light bulbs have recyclable parts in them. There are metal bits that can be reused again, unlike traditional bulbs that have no usable parts remaining after the bulb has reached the end of its life. Furthermore, LED lights do not have any toxic chemicals in them such as mercury as do CFL lights. The lack of hazardous chemicals also makes it possible for you to safely recycle LEDs. In this way, LED lights are beneficial for the environment in more ways than originally believed.
Five Creative Ideas for LED Lights
The LDC724 8 Watt 800 Lumen Recessed Anti Glare LED Downlight is a unique light that gives the illusion of a soft glow with no visible source of illumination. This light features bulbs that are nestled deep inside the light fixture and shine a pool of light below. Its design makes it glare-proof, so it won’t hurt you even if you look at it. The square shape and recessed nature make it a lovely choice for contemporary homes.
For areas that you want to draw attention to or products you want to catch the eye on display, these LSP705 5 Watt Adjustable Surface Mounted LED Downlight is ideal. The light sits against the ceiling and features a head that partially detaches from the base. It can be swiveled around to shine light in a certain area of your choosing. The light is subtle and comes in neutral hues of either black or white, making incorporation into any space seamless.
With its boxy shape and cage-style exterior, the LWA705 7 Watt Square Black Outdoor Wall Light is as stylish as it is practical. This light nestles its LED bulb just behind a diffuser that further softens the already soft 3000k warm white light, making it gentle on the eyes. The black finish fits in well with any colour exterior.
Light the way in your exterior space with the LWA703 12 Watt Square LED Outdoor Wall Light. The light attaches to the wall and shines illumination down and at an angle through its square-shaped head. Available in black or white, you can easily incorporate either option into your outdoor living space or commercial area.
Light up pathways and stairs using the ODL703 3 Watt Rectangular Black Recessed Outdoor Wall Light. This outdoor light shines illumination straight down onto the ground with a soft glow that isn’t glaring. It not only makes paths safer to navigate at night but also creates a modern, warm and inviting glow on the ground that enhances the appearance of an outside space.
LED lights are leading the charge for modern lighting solutions and for good reason. Above, we have touched on some of the truths and myths surrounding this type of light. With this knowledge, you can make your own informed decision about whether or not to make the switch from traditional bulbs to power-saving LEDs.